New Survey Shows That 20% of Americans Suffer From Mental Illnesses

One in five Americans is mentally sick

According to latest studies conducted on the mental health of Americans, it has been found that one in every five Americans suffers from some sort of mental sickness. The report has been released by the latest issue on National Survey on Drug Use and Health made available by the government of the United States. This study encompasses only adult Americans, which refers to people above eighteen years of age. SAMHSA, which is an acronym for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has published the report. The report also suggests that the percentage of people suffering from mental illnesses increases as age group increases.

What kind of mental illnesses are considered?

According to the report, any illness of the mind that is diagnosable and is related to disorders in behavior and emotional health are defined as mental illnesses. These diseases are classified and defined as per the guidelines given in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders edition IV, published by the American Psychiatric Association, APA, which was formulated in 1994. Problems that are not defined as mental illnesses include those related to substance use, addiction and developmental disorders. A report published by the World Health Organization has revealed that mental illnesses are more common when compared to physical disorders such as diseases of the heart in developed countries. The report by WHO also suggests that at least around $300 billion is spent every year for treating mental sicknesses.

Findings of the study

In the study that considered 67,500 people, it was found that adult women were more likely to suffer mental illnesses when compared to adult men. People who suffered mental conditions were more prone to other problems such as addiction and abuse. Serious mental conditions were suffered by 11.4 million adults, which accounts to 5% of the total population. The risk of addiction and substance use was more serious in this 5% of population.

Conclusions

The study concluded that it is very important for people and medical practitioners to look for signs of mental illnesses and provide proper treatment from the initial stages. Also, diagnosing mental illnesses is the biggest challenge because these diseases are not easily evident and the patients tend to live in denial of their condition. It is important to treat the condition in order to prevent people from falling prey to substance abuse as well. it is possible to manage problems related to mental illnesses and the available knowledge should be properly utilized.

 

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